Carnival Corporation reported net income of $500.8 million ($0.85 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $1.44 billion for its third quarter ended August 31, 2002, compared to net income of $495 million ($0.84 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $1.49 billion for the same quarter in 2001.
Net income for the nine months ended August 31, 2002 was $824.6 million ($1.40 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $3.33 billion, compared to net income of $809.9 million ($1.38 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $3.58 billion for the same period in 2001.
Earnings for the third quarter of 2002 included a $34 million income tax benefit from the company's Costa Cruise operation resulting from a new Italian investment tax law. This was partially offset by a provision of $20 million related to a vessel write-down. In addition, there was a $13 million reduction in earnings in the third quarter of 2002 resulting from canceled cruises during the quarter.
Cruise revenues for the third quarter of 2002 were 1.4 percent lower than last year primarily because of a significant decline in the number of guests purchasing air transportation from the company and lower cruise ticket prices. This was partially offset by an increase in cruise capacity of 2.2 percent. Net revenue yield (net revenue per available berth day after deducting the cost of air transportation and travel agent commissions) was down less than 1 percent compared to the previous year's third quarter.
Following these voyages, Carnival Legend will
return to New York for a unique eight-day Caribbean cruise program from May 13 to Oct. 12, 2003.
Looking to the fourth quarter of 2002, Arison noted that the tone of bookings continues to provide confidence that fourth quarter net revenue yields will increase over last year. "The booking curve continues to be unusually close to the sailing date as it has throughout 2002, making it more difficult to forecast net revenue yields.
However, as expected, fourth quarter bookings during the last two months have run considerably higher than last year's levels although pricing for the fourth quarter is slightly below the prior year. Because of the expected higher occupancy levels for the fourth quarter, we now forecast net revenue yields to be up between 1 to 3 percent," Arison explained.
Also during the fourth quarter of 2002, both Carnival Cruise Lines and Holland America will introduce new classes of vessels to their fleets. Carnival's largest passenger ship ever
constructed, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest, is scheduled to enter service from New Orleans in mid-November 2002. In addition, Holland America will also launch the 85,000-ton Zuiderdam, the first ship in its new Vista-class series, in December 2002 from Fort Lauderdale. This 1,848-passenger vessel represents
a 28 percent increase in passenger capacity over the 1,440-passenger Volendam, the largest ship currently in Holland America's fleet, and offers more than 85 percent of its cabins with ocean views, of which 80 percent have balconies.
Separately, Carnival is continuing to cooperate with the Federal Trade Commission in its ongoing investigation, now nearing completion, with regard to Carnival's pending pre-conditional offer for P&O Cruises.